Granger Smith, Family Planning New Beginnings One Year After Son’s Funeral
Granger Smith's wife, Amber, turned to social media one year after their son River's funeral on Thursday (June 11), posting a photo of his custom-built casket and sharing how the family are moving forward in the wake of their devastating loss.
Three-year-old River died in a drowning accident at the family's home in Texas on June 6, 2019, and in a post to Instagram, Amber shares a picture of his custom-built Lightning McQueen casket, reflecting on how even in the midst of terrible suffering, she felt that God was "holding" her.
This time last year, Amber recalls being very upset to find that none of the caskets available in such a small size seemed appropriate for her son, Smith writes, exacerbating an already terribly upsetting time.
"I told myself he wasn’t there, he was with Jesus so the casket didn’t matter. But deep down it still did," she writes. The funeral director called her right after she left, informing her that there was enough time before the funeral to get a casket themed for Lightning McQueen, River's favorite.
"This was Riv. This was God," she states. "I felt God all around me so close during those weeks. He was holding me. He was showing me signs he was with us. The veil between heaven and earth was thin. The casket, our unbelievable friends and family who came from all over to be with us, our incredible church, the amazing Williamson county police department for guiding us, the 'just his size' rainbow on a June day in Texas at the service. As painful as it was, there was a peace. God is still good."
The family moved away from the house where River's accident took place shortly afterward, and in new episodes of their YouTube series The Smiths, have shared that they are moving once again. Amber says they've closed on land where they hope to build a new home someday, on the one-year anniversary of River's burial.
"The timing is not lost on me. God is guiding us and I feel Riv with us every step of the way," she writes. "He would have loved this land. Today marks a new day, new adventures for the Smith family. I will continue to fight, continue to trust and continue to grow. We miss you so much Riv. We love you. We can do this."
The Smiths are keeping River's legacy alive by launching the River Kelly Fund, which raises awareness and money for childhood drowning prevention and other causes that are important to them. Amber turned to social media on what would have been River's fourth birthday on May 16 to raise money for the River Kelly Fund, collecting more than $18,000.
These Country Singers Have Lost Children, Too: